You may have an excellent product, a cutting-edge marketing strategy, and a unique branding voice, but if your customer service is not up to par, it can bring the whole show down, along with your chances of revenue generation. Customer service is the team, which handles one-on-one interactions with your customers, no matter which stage of the buying journey they are on. Those interactions can turn the tables on you, depending on how they go.
For instance, if a customer is pleased with your customer service, he or she will spread the good word about your company, return for repeat purchases and even usher some friends along, becoming your brand evangelist. This can build your rapport in the market and help you save up on lead acquisition costs. In simple words, it is a win-win situation. On the other hand, if a customer is displeased with your customer service, he or she will leave a trail of negative reviews online, which may spread like wildfire and convince your leads to abandon their carts, as well as, landing a severe blow to your reputation and business.
So, customer service is a vital unit of any business, whether small, medium, or large. Firms that invest in their customer service succeed immeasurably in the market. Take a look at RCN customer service and you’ll see how it substantiates the popularity of the cable company by delivering the highest customer satisfaction in contract to its competitors. Speaking of which, what are the secrets to effective customer service? Let’s explore the top qualities of compelling customer service below.
A major attribute of effective customer service is that it is knowledgeable. As a customer service agent, you should know the company’s products and offerings inside out. Read up on the details and possible uses of the items you are selling so you can help customers make the most out of them. Besides feature recommendations, product knowledge will also save you during times of crisis.
Suppose a customer faces a problem with a certain product and comes to you for resolution. You will only be able to support the agitated client and troubleshoot the issue if you have expertise regarding that specific product. The quicker you solve a problem, the greater will be your efficacy rate and customer satisfaction.
Time is of the essence, nowadays. Consumers run after instant gratification. In other words, they hate to wait. Given the proliferation of options, consumers don’t take too long to switch to a competitor if a company leaves them hanging out cold. So, a huge tell of effective customer service is that it is responsive.
Being responsive means being available to customers both online and on-site. Some of the major companies today ensure 24/7 availability by integrating Artificial Intelligence and social media chatbots into their customer service strategy. They, then, pair these technological tools with human agents to maximize the rate of responsiveness on calls, emails, live chats, social media, and service outlets. When customers feel that they can reach out to a company anytime and anyhow, they are more than happy to stick with it.
Consumers love companies that treat them right. This includes providing emotional support. Another feature of effective customer service is that it is approachable. You should train your customer service agents to convey positivity and empathy through their tone of voice and choice of words. They should address customers in a personal manner using their names and punctuate the conversation with appreciating remarks. This creates a warm and inviting impression on customers, and it makes them feel well cared for, regardless of the situation. A formal greeting sounds too automated and reduces the customer to a ticket number, which only worsens their feedback and harms the company repute.
Having a positive attitude also means staying professional even if a customer becomes harsh. Customer service agents should stay composed throughout a berating call and maintain an apologetic stance to calm the customer down and convert their negative energy into a positive one. They should also be able to step into the shoes of customers and handle a situation with that context in mind for the most appropriate response. Thus, with empathy and positivity, customer service representatives can improve their effectiveness by a wide margin.
Effective customer service representatives are avid listeners. They let the customers talk first instead of pushing their agenda. By listening attentively, they can make the customers feel valued. Moreover, this strategy also allows them to note down the tiny details and context clues surrounding the customer’s problem, which ultimately, helps them during the resolution phase. Thus, attentiveness is a key skill of effective customer service. It also engenders proactivity.
In 2021, customers are more selective and cautious than they have ever been before. That’s because they perceive businesses and organizations as self-serving entities, which only care about the profit and not their customers. This is why they only choose brands that feel more personal to them and on whom they can rely. Trustworthiness is a quality that they hold near and dear, and this is where customer service can play its part.
An effective customer service is dependable. Dependability arises from a customer-first mindset. Suppose a customer contacts you because they are facing a service outage in their area.
Now, an effective customer service agent would promise to look into the issue, and keep that word by calling the customer back and informing them about the fix. They would also not hesitate to throw in a couple of freebies as compensation.
An ineffective customer service representative, on the other hand, would route the concerned customer’s call to another department and forget all about it. This would breed distrust and dissatisfaction in the customer. Therefore, the true mark of effective customer service is that it is dependable and never lets the customer down.
The Final Word
Not many commercial organizations realize the role that customer service can play in their machinations. As a business owner, you should step up and invest in your customer service department. Use the aforementioned pointers to make your customer service team effective and outstanding.